There is an 88 page Environmental Assessment (EA) (pdf) available here
. I haven't read the whole thing, but it's quite convincing.
While I fully support Trap, Neuter and Release for urban areas and as an alternative to just feeding feral animals, this is an island with a few Navy personell and nothing else. It used to have grazing animals, and apparently it's quite a degraded environment. But I certainly think trying to recover the island is the way to go. It's not a small island, though, and TNR is probably incapable of elimanting cats from the island. The environmental assessment cites quite a few sources when it does that analysis, and while I haven't read them, it's quite believable. Even if TNR would eventually result in no cats on the island, it would take a very long time.
If hunting and killing cats is cruel, why isn't the hunting and killing of Island Deer Mice and Island Night Lizards cruel? I don't even think the padded leg traps are cruel; the EA describes electronic monitoring to note when traps are full so they can be gone to, the animal captured, and if its an Island fox, released. Apparently, the foxes are a smidge smaller than the cats, and they are trying to help the fox populations recover. The use of traps is quite specifically designed to prevent injury (and they'll have a vet to fix up the foxes if needed) because some foxes will be captured, and they are one of the species this cat eradiacation program is supposed to help. Now, predation is a much more powerful population eradication presure than competition, so I don't know if getting rid of the cats will really help the foxes. But it will help the mice and the lizards, and it won't hurt the foxes. And it will probably help the birds, too, whose population is still going down.
Also, the foxes have been trained to accept baited live cage trapping, so any trapping for TNR would get lots and lots of foxes, making it harder to get the cats.
So I emailed the US Fish and Wildlife Service to tell them that I do, indeed, approve.